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ECOWAS moves for continuous support from Nigeria

Villa Visit 26-05-16

Even though ECOWAS enjoys fraternal relations with Nigeria, it nevertheless wants a renewal of the partnership that currently exists given the preeminence of Nigeria among the nations within the fold of the Economic Community of West African States.

To this end, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Alain de Souza on Thursday 26th of May 2016 met with the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari to discuss matters of regional importance as well as to solicit the continuous support of Nigeria towards ensuring that the regional group fulfill its integration mandate.

President de Souza who was accompanied by the full compliments of senior officials of the ECOWAS Commission had earlier visited the Nigerian ministry of Foreign Affairs where he conferred with the Minister of State Hajia Khadija Bukar Ibrahim before proceeding to the Presidential Villa to meet with the Nigerian President. Both presidents discussed in an atmosphere of utmost cordiality.

Discussions during the meetings centered on matters of urgent regional importance, collective security, finances, Common External Tariffs (CET), the Economic Partnership agreement (EPA), intra-community trade as well as reforms and adjustments at ECOWAS.

President Souza who said he was desirous of consolidating the age-long collaboration between the regional group and Nigeria and to strengthen the existing framework of cooperation noted that, Nigeria alone constitute 200 million of the 320 million people in West Africa “We refer rightly to Nigeria as the locomotive engine of West Africa and problems cannot be solved without the locomotive being involved. So there is a leadership role Nigeria has to play” President Souza added.

Emphasizing Nigeria’s unparalleled leadership role in West Africa, President de Souza recalled the country’s outstanding sacrifices in the past in trying to ensure greater stability and integration of the region with examples abounding its peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

He commended President Buhari for Nigeria’s recent successes in the war against terrorism and insurgency.

Responding, the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari formally welcomed de Souza to Nigeria and stressed that he would do what is best to make the mandate of the ECOWAS Commission president and his team realisable.

Earlier, the Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ibrahim disclosed that Nigeria accords great importance to ECOWAS stressing that the background and wealth of experience of President de Souza as a banker and finance manager would come handing in resolving some of the old issues on ground  before his resumption of office.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission was accompanied on the visits by Vice President Edward Singhatey, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs Peace and Security (PAPS) Halima Ahmed as well as the Commissioner for finance and his Administration and Conference counterpart Messrs. Allieu Sesay and Stephen Nartey


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